There are great advantages to following a solid nutritional program, especially if you are trying to get fit. Regular exercise puts new demands on your body in addition to the demands of everyday life. If you want to get the most out of your new exercise routine you will need to eat the right foods and fuel your body the right way.
What are the nutrients you need when you are an active, healthy person? You need a combination of carbohydrates, protein and fats. For optimum health you want those to be mostly complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats.
Complex carbohydrates will come mostly from whole grains. The best grains are quinoa, amaranth, barley, and oats. If you are a runner or other endurance athlete (or strive to be) then you need to be eating plenty of these. If you are just doing short workouts a few times a week then you should be keeping these to a minimum. No matter what your fitness goals are you should be consuming a diet that is primarily vegetables and fruit and devoid of excess sugars.
Protein is the next nutrient that you should concentrate on. Most of the time you should be eating lean proteins like turkey, fish and tofu. Lean ground turkey makes a great substitute for regular hamburger. Meats that are higher than fat like pork and steak are fine once and awhile. You should always avoid processed meats like hot dogs and salami.
The last nutrient you need are healthy sources of fat. Natural is better. Go for nuts, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil and butter. Avoid other oils because they are highly processed using heat and chemicals. Butter is fine in small amounts because it is natural, unprocessed and a little provides a great deal of flavor.
Always choose butter over highly processed vegetable oils and choose coconut and olive oil often. Use avocado on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise and choose a handful of nuts as a healthy snack. Remember build your diet around fruits, vegetables and a few high fiber grains. Next, add some protein and a bit of healthy fat and you have a diet built to help you reach your fitness goals.